“Pakuelämää” (FIN) “Vanlife” (ENG): Discourse between identities and motivations of Finnish vehicle dwellers

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Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
School of Business | Master's thesis
Date
2024
Major/Subject
Mcode
Degree programme
International Design Business Management
Language
en
Pages
93 + 6
Series
Abstract
This study aims to understand the developing phenomenon of vanlife among Finns through understanding how perceptions of vanlife and its related motivations interrelate with personal and Finnish identities. Limited academic studies exist on the topic of vanlife among Finns, despite its recent strong prevalence in various kinds of Finnish media. To address this research need, a qualitative study was conducted through interviews with 20 Finnish-identifying individuals living part- or full-time in their vehicles. Findings point to vanlife’s diversity, in that the lifestyle can be molded to fit various definitions of the lifestyle, motivations, and personal identities among its Finnish participants, with various core themes arising from each. Most significantly, this study found five core elements of specifically Finnish identity which impacts the way vanlife is motivated and experienced: shyness, an appreciation for peace and personal space, “mökki” or cabin culture, a deep connection and appreciation for nature, and “sisu,” a kind of Finnish perseverance. Overall, this research describes how an alternative lifestyle like vanlife uniquely presents itself among Finnish individuals prior to significant community formation and provides a base for further vanlife research among Finns or as a comparison for studies on vanlife within other nationalities.
Description
Thesis advisor
Shaw, Claire
Eloranta, Ville
Keywords
vanlife, alternative lifestyles, digital nomadism, finnish vanlife, finland, motivation, identity, personal identity
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